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review 2016-09-28 00:00
Tom Jones
Tom Jones - Simon Stern,Henry Fielding,John B. Bender Tom Jones, a bastard of infamous parentage, is nevertheless raised by the kind Squire Allworthy as a gentleman. He loves the neighboring Squire's daughter, Sophia, but has no problem sleeping around with the less scrupulous common girls while waiting for his chance with her. His foster father, Squire Allworthy, loves him and has him educated alongside his nephew and heir, Master Blifil. Jones inspires the friendship and ire of those around him and, when he is seen as a threat to Blifil's inheritance of the estate, is framed as eagerly anticipating his foster father's death. Squire Allworthy reluctantly casts him off and Tom must go out to seek his fortune in the world. At the same time Squire Western wishes to force his daughter to marry Blifil so that their estates can be combined. Sophia flees with her maid. Her father and Blifil in pursuit.

Of the handful of 18th century novels I've read in the past two years, Tom Jones is the first I've enjoyed with the fewest qualifications to that word. Fielding is the first English novelist to understand how a story is supposed to work. Sterne's Tristram Shandy was more interested in its own cleverness than including the reader in the joke; Richardson's Pamela is drivel; and the candidates for first novel ever! are worth reading but Gulliver's Travels
and Robinson Crusoe fail to carry a narrative from start to finish.

Fielding throws a lot in the air over this nearly 900 page novel and, with a notably boring exception (I'm looking at you Man of the Hill), the characters and their stories contribute towards the goal of illustrating Tom and Sophia's separate journeys to London with all the misunderstandings, plot twists and gross-out surprises that keep a reader interested. Here is a comic novel that is still capable of real humor and sustaining it. The plot is dense with pratfalls and fists and mistaken identities - a lie told by one character causes misfortune for another which prevents a third from bringing one of the pins from crashing to the floor.

On a serious note, the novel is concerned with hypocrisy more than anything else. Master Blifil and Thwackem in the eyes of the world are respectable, but their platitudes have no feeling behind them, their greed is so blinding they fail to see any other motivation in those around them. Hypocrisy towards sexual desire is thornier territory, but the message can be a simple as its natural, everyone wants to do it anyway, and if all participants have honest expectations and intentions and, erm, no one gets pregnant, its a good time for everybody. Thorny.

The novel works. There are a few moral wrinkles and unnecessary asides and structural problems, but Tom Jones works. I'd recommend it over many others.
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review 2016-01-05 00:00
Tom Jones
Tom Jones - Henry Fielding nONSTOP HILARITY AND DEBAUCHERY insues!
Get ready here comes the...
tom foolery gif photo: 330662010_a763ad6da5.jpg
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review 2014-07-07 20:49
Who Killed 'Tom Jones'?-A fun cast of characters in a fun mystery
Who Killed 'Tom Jones'? - Gale Martin

Meeting new authors one might not normally read is a great reason to enter author giveaways. This one was a treat!

 

Ellie is working as a receptionist and general dogsbody at the Finger Nursing Home. She has long had fantasies of the perfect man, which in her case happens to be singer Tom Jones. When she sees that a Tom Jones look-alike contest is coming to town, she can’t buy her tickets fast enough. When she runs into an old friend whose husband is one of the contestants and the friend offers to set her up with another of the contestants, what could go wrong? Murder, of course.

 

The characters and the warmth of their relationships are the stars of this cozy mystery. The residents of the nursing home feel like real people, not caricatures. They are treated like normal humans, not like generic “old people.” I would love to know them. Ellie’s relationship with them and with the handyman at the home gives real heart to this book. Her relationship with her old friend, who was use to ruling the roost, was also fairly realistic in my opinion. At least as realistic as you can expect a cozy to get. The characters are funny and goofy and there is plenty of comic relief to go with a good mystery. Light-hearted fun and a pleasant escapist read.

 

The only drawback I saw was that the romance developed at lightning speed. I like a slower burn and there was one scene that was slightly more explicit than most cozies. All in all, I’d love to see these characters return in a sequel.

 

I was given this book by the author in return for an honest review.

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review 2014-02-16 10:47
Tom Jones - Henry Fielding
Tom Jones - Henry Fielding

I'm slightly trepidatious about reviewing Tom Jones, because Fielding does not like critics. In fact, he is so kind as to say this about them:

 

If a person who pries into the characters of others, with no other design but to discover their faults...deserves the title of a slanderer...why should not a critic, who reads with the same malevolent view, be as properly styled the slanderer of the reputation of books?

 

Which makes me laugh, but also makes me sure that Fielding would have hated me with every fibre of his being.

 

On the basis that Fielding is dead, and cannot therefore write nasty letters at me, I am, nevertheless, going to continue.

 

Tom Jones follows the fortunes of (unsurprisingly) Tom Jones, a foundling raised by a country gentleman who turns him out because of his rakish behaviour. He then pursues his True Love Sophia across England and has many and diverse adventures, most of which seem to involve sleeping with or otherwise courting other women, which, understandably, pisses Sophia off a little.

 

Aand...that's basically what happens. For eight hundred pages. I spent a month reading about Tom's leisurely misadventures only to find the whole sorry saga resolved by a series of highly unlikely coincidences and renunciations. It was like the ending of a Dickens novel, except with less interesting characters and less credibility, which last, if you have ever read Our Mutual Friend, you will know is quite a feat.

 

Two and a half stars, because it is actually quite funny in places:

 

...with a voice as sweet as the evening breeze of Boreas in the pleasant month of November.

 

Ha! Eighteenth-century sarcasm.

 

But even that isn't enough to interest me for 800 pages.

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text 2014-01-04 20:25
Goodreads Giveaway -- A new murder mystery -- WHO KILLED 'TOM JONES'?

You're invited!

 

What's new, pussycat? How about a pre-launch Goodreads Giveaway (for all my cherished Booklikes friends) of my newest novel, a murder mystery called WHO KILLED 'TOM JONES'? My giveaway runs through Jan. 20. Win one of three copies for yourself if you like rollicking contemporary mysteries laced with romance (or for someone you like a whole bunch--I wouldn't give this book away to just anyone, only someone really special who will lend it back to you when they're done). Cheers and prosperity in the New Year! Yours in puffy shirts and skintight trousers!


Date: December 30, 2014    03:45PM -- January 20, 2014    11:59PM
RSVP by: January 20, 2014    11:59PM 
Venue: https://www.goodreads.com, US
Type: other
Website: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/76037-who-killed-tom-jones
Added by: Gale Martin

description

Enter to win an advance copy of Who Killed 'Tom Jones'?, my new murder mystery releasing on January 21, 2014.

“In Who Killed ‘Tom Jones’?, Gale Martin has perfectly captured the world of tribute artists and, also, the universe of Tom Jones fans.”—Ellen Sterling, moderator of TomJonesInternational.com, the world’s largest fan website.
Enter thru 1/20. 

This book giveaway is open to members in only the following countries: US.


Source: www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/76037-who-killed-tom-jones
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